Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Crested Butte Wild Flower Rush Recap

Other than a few wind gusts that would roll through in the afternoons, we couldn't have asked for better weather. To add to our excitement, the man, the myth, the legend... Matt Bollig came to throw down! He pinned it on the DS and DH in CAT 2 30-39 and got the taste of racing back. Before the race he was explaining his racing as "It's like racing, only slower" but after the race he said "I've got a lot more left in the tank for DH racing."

James Flatten decided to make a cameo appearance on Saturday afternoon. You should come to more races James! You taught us all how to cover parts of your body with blades of grass when sunblock isn't available. Ever think about going on "Survivor?"

Before you read the results below, you need to know that this was also a Pro GRT race, meaning there was a lot of really fast competitors here. Way more than usual for a MSC race. The top CAT 2 racers would have placed extremely well in CAT 1 and the top CAT 1 racers would have placed extremely well in Pro class meaning that everyone's class had some major competition. I think some sand-baggers need to upgrade to keep the fields tiered like they should be.


- Joel Scott came to cheer everyone on on Sunday seeing how its so close to his home.
- Eric and Sara brought out their brand new (used) $500 camper in the bed of their truck. You'd think for $500 it wouldn't be in very good shape, but they really got a killer deal and its super clean!
- Eric ended up 29/62 and Andrew Templin 43/62 in the Pro DH class. Both had solid runs and were only a few seconds off Brian Buell and Eric was directly behind Chris Shumake (Santa Cruz/SRAM)! The pro field was stacked. Way to represent Guys!
- Eric took 15/19 in the pro DS and was knocked out in round 1 which really disappointed him. But like i said before, the competition was unreal. Most of those guys ride their bikes for a living, like Jared Graves! One of the 2 guys in the big final was actually riding a DH bike to illustrate how rough it was!
- The two others that raced DS were Matt (CAT 2 30-39 11/13) and Kazzy (CAT 2 30-39 6/11). Matt got knocked out in round one, but absolutlely blew everyone away with how fast he rode. None of us knew he could throw down like that! However, Kazzy made it to round 2 before getting knocked out only because he wrecked in a silt filled berm in his second race of round two. It was going to be a close one for sure!
- Jesse Townsend had a great result with a 6th place out of 17 in the CAT 1 30-39 DH. That what hitting your lines and not crashing will get you. I wanna see a podium by year's end Jesse!
- This was Jesse Ruland's 2nd DH race ever (CAT 2 30-39). With a massive hangover from a late night CB with Matt and James, he still managed to pull off a stellar 9th out of 24! No wrecks and a solid run this time! You keep progressing like this and you'll have your pro card in no time little man.
- This was Chris Rupinksy's first race with the team AND first CAT 1 DH race! After a little suspension tuning he ripped off a 26th out of 34. However, his class is the fastest class next to the pros.... I should know, I struggled in that class for many years! BTW, you need to trade in those Yeti's soon Christopher.... while they're still worth something.. haha
- Last but not least, Matt Bollig managed to keep it out of last place in the DH with a 22nd out of 24. He said he's got more to throw down and just needs some time on a big bike and to get in better shape. Don't be surprised if you see him out laying down the power at the BMX track in 100 degree heat in the next couple weeks. The racing bug's bit him hard! He has also committed to coming to Telluride in two weeks, so if any of you see him trying to back out of it, lay the smack down!

We're all looking forward to the next MSC race Telluride July 8-10)..... I think I might race SD. We'll see how the collar bone is feeling (that will be 9 weeks out of surgery). Stop in and say hi in the pits if your going to be in town. I think we are going to borrow the 10x20 MRP easy up for our pits but just look for the Grassroots Cycles banner.

On a final note, if you ever get a change to go to Crested Butte, hit up the "Timeline" Trail. Its full of airtime and massive flow! You won't regret it!

~Pete Knepper

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sol Vista Triple DHip - 3 Stage DH Race

Last weekend was the 2nd annual SRAM Triple DHip at Sol Vista Bike park in Granby, CO. For those that don't what the race is, it's a 3 stage DH race meaning there is 3 separate DH courses and they combine your time on all 3 to determine the winner. The middle race was chainless meaning you have to be able to hold your speed and pump to go fast. That type of race really separates the strong pedalers from the ones with massive amounts of flow and cornering ability. There was also some really big names there racing such as Greg Minnar, Mic Hannah, Andrew Neethling, Jill Kitner, Duncan Riffle, and a few more. Needless to say the pro field was stacked!

I'm sure most of know how stressful bike racing can be and this weekend was no exception. We ended up taking the new 16 passenger Grassroots van and the Landis' enclosed trailer. After many hours of screwing with the wiring on the van and trailer the team was finally on their way at about midnight on Thursday. I was supposed to go with them, but was called back to work that afternoon because of a little problem. The van made it to the Landis Estate at about 04:30am and they were on course 6 hours later after setting up the pits that morning. I finally made it up there around 2pm, but did manage to get a little more sleep than they did. As if all that wasn't stressful enough, everyone found out that instead of the usual break ups of age groups and categories, they grouped everyone into just a few classes to make it that much harder in each class.... Amateur Women, Pro Women, 19-34 Men, 35+ Men, and Pro Men. Also, instead of just having to practice and memorize one DH course, there were three total, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. That being said, everyone from our team had a great time and raced their hearts out. The weather cooperated for the most part with only a few showers here and there and mostly dry courses.

Noteables from the weekend.......
  • Kyle Fissel from MRP tagged along with us but ended up injuring his hand on Friday and couldn't compete. Thankfully his lift ticket didn't go to waste and I was able to shred some runs with it for the first time since my collar bone injury!
  • Adam Lavender finally got his bike dialed in by day 3 and pulled off a 9th place in the mens 35+ category. Must of been my re-valve on his Rock Shox Totem ;-)
  • Sara and Amy both manged to over come most of their fears of many obstacles on the first course with some practice and were able to do full top to bottom runs without stopping. By the end of Sunday, they were shredding Silky Johnson faster than I have ever seen either of them ride. We could barely pull away from them!
  • For the first time ever on Sunday, Amy was able to fully picture a race run in her head from top to bottom. Unfortunately, 50 ft into that last race run, she was going so fast, she pinch flatted and had to ride a flat down the entire course. You'll get em next time babe!
  • Mike McCoy ended up 17th out of 49 riders in the Mens 19-34 class. He wasn't all that impressed with himself, but with a field that large and broad, 17th is a damn good accomplishment! And he wrecked in one of his runs too. Next time mike... you got it!
  • Eric was racing against guys like Greg Minnar, Mic Hannah, Mitch Ropelato, Duncan Riffle, and Andrew Neethling so he was an underdog to say the least. His first two races on Saturday didn't impress him and he was feeling like he just didn't have what it takes to be a pro, but he threw down on Sunday and ended up only 11.5 sec behind Greg Minnar (the winner)! You know I'm still gunnin' for you Landi!
  • On Sunday after the race, we all did two fun runs as a team (minus Adam because he had to hurry home to finish some work for monday). I can honestly say those two runs were where I had the most fun all weekend. There's nothing like hopping back on your bike after 7 weeks off and still being able to pin it (don't tell my doctor).
~Pete Knepper

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bike Park

We've been out digging and riding at the bike park. Everything's hitting great, come out and ride. Make sure to bring some bug spray though.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Jesse Update

Last Sunday was a special day for me. I took my first real mountain bike ride at the Lunch Loops with my husband 586 days after injuring my knee in an accident. The Crash happened in October of 2009. I was riding with a group of friends for the weekend in Moab. That summer I had a successful season of DH and Super D racing with the Grassroots Cycles Team, I had just returned from my first trip to Whistler, and was feeling confident and pushing my limits. I had been riding so much that I was starting to feel just the tiniest bit of burnout on my bike and was looking forward to ski season.

Crashing, as anyone who rides knows, is a part of riding. You have crashes, get scratched up, and sometimes get black bruises the size of a dinner plate on your ass, but you usually ride away from them. Having been seriously injured in a climbing accident years before, I was well aware that when you break your body it can’t always be fixed. I had successfully pushed this thought out of my day-to-day thoughts about riding.

After a year and a half of worrying, after one of the top surgeons in the world told me that he’ll try but that there is no guarantee that anything can be done, after many setbacks and some pretty dark days I’m finally back on my bike.

If there is one positive that has come out of this, it’s that I’ve decided that there is no excuse for ever not having fun on your bike******. It is easy to start taking the most important things for granted, like functional joints, living in a place with amazing trails, and having the good fortune to have both a bike and good friends to ride with. We are all lucky to be out there enjoying this sport, and if not winning a race, or not performing as well as you think you should bums you out, then you are doing it for the wrong reasons and missing out on so much.

-Jesse Kirkpatrick

******© Blake Treadway

Monday, June 6, 2011

Roots Riders at Teva

D.j. Brandt and I went to the 2011 Teva Mountain Games on Thursday to compete in the slopestyle event. The first day of practice was super windy but we still took a few runs. The course was smooth and fun for the most part. After staying the night in a sketchy hotel we went to practice before the competition. The wind was non-existant until the comp started. I was lucky enough to get number 1 and had to go first. I finished both my runs with solid tricks. D.j. didn't finish any of his runs but tried a 360 over the first dirt double so props. Also props to Nick Simcik for his huge cork flips! Some highlights were Mike Montgomery's backflip barhop, Anthony Messere's flip double whip, and Paul Basagoitia's front flip and double back flip attempt. Overall it was good experience and we had a lot of fun riding with everyone. America!
-Kyle Rosencrans